There is something fabulously entertaining and engaging about Tamara Leigh’s novels and her latest, Leaving Carolina, has it in spades! Axel Smith is one of my all time favourite leading men so I couldn’t wait to see how Tamara saw him
Enjoy this insight:~
Piper Wick (formerly Pickwick) is the 5’3” 30-year-old heroine of Leaving Carolina. She has short, fiery red hair and blue eyes. Though she struggles to maintain a good weight, she has attained a degree of fitness by running and watching her food choices. Her one downfall—pickled corn fried in butter J
Then there’s blue—and I do mean BLUE!—eyed Axel Smith. My hero is 35 years old, 5’10”, and well built. In contrast to his military years, he wears his long, sandy-colored hair in a ponytail. No tattoos, but he does have a goatee and a moustache. He also has a limp, but I’m not telling why J
If Piper resembles any actress, I would say it’s Amy Adams.
As for Axel, think Russell Crowe in Master and Commander. My, he looked good with that ponytail.
Strengths and weaknesses
Piper’s strength—determination—is sometimes her weakness. Whereas that particular quality helps her to make a new life for herself outside of the South, it makes it difficult for her to return to her hometown and accept that the past is truly in the past (and to make amends where they need to be made).
Axel’s greatest strength is that when he meets Piper, he has already worked through the weaknesses that held him back spiritually—bitterness and unforgiveness. Because of the example he sets, Piper is able to work through her own struggles.
Two quirks: Piper’s pickled corn obsession (of course, the poor thing hasn’t had any since she shook the Pickwick dust from her feet 12 years ago) and her intense awareness of body language that goes with the job (public relations specialist).
Your inspiration for the character
My mother, Zola, is where Piper began, though not where she ended. My mother longed for a bigger life outside of her little North Carolina town, and when she finally did make it out west, the only time she went back was for brief family visits. Still, it’s true that you can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl. And that’s why the South is in Zola’s daughters. And one of them—me—lives in Tennessee J
Background to the story
Piper Wick left her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina, twelve years ago, shook the dust off her feet, ditched her drawl and her family name, and made a new life for herself as a high-powered public relations consultant in LA. She’s even “engaged to be engaged” to the picture-perfect U.S. Congressman, Grant Spangler.
Now all of Piper’s hard-won happiness is threatened by a reclusive uncle’s bout of conscience. In the wake of a health scare, Uncle Obadiah Pickwick has decided to change his will, leaving money to make amends for four generations’ worth of family misdeeds. But that will reveal all the Pickwicks’ secrets, including Piper’s.
Though Piper arrives in Pickwick primed for battle, she is unprepared for Uncle Obe’s rugged, blue-eyed gardener. So just who is Axel Smith? Why does he think making amends is more than just making restitution? And why, oh why, can’t she stay on task? With the Lord’s help, Piper is about to discover that although good PR might smooth things over, only the truth will set her free.
Thanks, Tammy! Loved this look at Piper and Axel and can’t wait to do it all over again for the sequel Hope you are writing quickly – LOL!!
On Thursday, the spotlight shines on Melody Carlson’s Hope Bartolli from Love Finds You in Sisters, Oregon!
Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Maizy Grace Stewart from Faking Grace
Interview with Tamara
Visit Tamara’s website